Guadalupe River Park and Gardens:

Part 1:  Central - Coleman Road to the Arena Green

Part 2:  South -  Santa Clara Street to I-280

Part 3: North - Guadalupe Gardens to  I-880

The Guadalupe River Trail: I-880 to Hwy 101

The Guadalupe River Trail: Hwy 101 to Alviso

Los Alamitos Creek Trail

San Jose Parks

Guadalupe River Trail

Guadalupe Creek Trail

Bay Area Biking

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Guadalupe River Park and Gardens
Part 1 Central: Coleman Road to the Arena Green

The Guadalupe River Park and Gardens are located in downtown San Jose. The park runs for 3 miles along the Guadalupe River. It is a work in-progress, with construction and planning continually going on. These web pages are a snapshot of what the park looks like. Most of these pictures were taken during the park's grand opening on September 10, 2005. The park is popular, but it is usually not this crowded.  There are trail segments on both side of the river, and it is possible to go from the north to the south ends of the park entirely on trails, with only two street-level crossings. However, the trail is not complete on both sides, so several bridge crossings are necessary to reach the other side where the trail continues. This page covers the central section of the park, from Coleman Road to the Arena Green. See Part 2 for the south section of the park and Part 3 for the north section.

This is the ramp on the east side of the river leading down to the Coleman Road under-crossing. At the other side of the bridge, you must cross over the bridge to reach the trails on the west side. For more on the north side trails, see Part 3.

Just before the bridge ramp is the Coleman Outlet Plaza. This sign talks about floods on the Guadalupe River and how a huge underground bypass channel was built from Santa Clara Street to the outlet underneath the sign. Across the river is the San Jose Market Center shopping center.

This is the temporary railroad under-crossing under the tracks between Coleman Ave. and Julian St. During the park's grand opening, at-grade gates were open, allowing a direct crossing of the tracks. However, because of safety concerns, the gates were closed, and this under-crossing shed was built. The shed protects trail users from overhead debris. This is temporary until permanent bridges can be built.

This is the trail south of the railroad undercrossing. It runs between the tree-covered east river bank and a large parking area. The west bank of the river is slated for future development. The trail crosses Julian Street, requiring a street-level crossing at the signal.

Just south of Julian Street is the Braided Path. Six paths symbolize the major enthnic groups that make up San Jose: European, Native American, South American, African, Aisian, and Pacific Islanders. The paths lead to a reflecting pool. In the background are buildings of the River Street Historic District. These early 20th century buildings represent a variety of architectural styles.

This is the Pool of Genes at the end of the Braided Paths. The bottom of the pool is covered with river rocks inscribed with the first names of children, representing the diversity of San Jose.

At the park's opening, San Jose Taiko entertained the visitors. There is a large lawn this part of the park between Julian Street and St. John Street, with paths on both sides that converge here. South of here is St. John Street, which requires an unsignaled street crossing at a crosswalk, but the street is small and usuallly not busy.

The park paths converge on this plaza north of St. John Street, called the "Crossing Paths Monument." It is a triangular crossword puzzle representing the intersection of cultures, whose names are carved in the granite paving stones. It includes the names of the earliest European settlers and Ohlone Native Americans.

The St. John Street bridge crosses over the river. Looking south from the center of the bridge, you can see Confluence Point. This is where Los Gatos Creek (on the right) joins the Guadalupe River (on the left). Also here on the left is an underground flood control inlet culvert.

South of St. John Street, whose crossing is seen above, there are park areas on both sides of the river. The granite sculpture above, on the east bank of the river, symbolizes the convergence of the Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek. The plaza here is the St. John Overlook. It overlooks the flood control inlet culvert. Signs and markings in the pavement stones illustrate how much water flows through these flood control structures.

On the east side of the park are picnic tables and tennis courts.

This sculpture near the tennis courts is called "Essence to Essence" by sculptor Donovan Petersen

This is the Santa Clara Street Overlook Plaza. It sits on top of a huge flood control intake.

This is the "Tributaries Monument." It symbolizes the confluence of Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River and lists their tributaries on two spirals that join in the center.

This is the Santa Clara Street Bridge and underpass. Steps on both sides lead down to the river. On the other side is the ranger station and visitor center. Use the bridge to cross the river.

The Santa Clara Street Bridge also crosses Los Gatos Creek. This is a view of Los Gatos Creek from the bridge.

On the west bank of Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River is the Arena Green Park. Next to it is the HP Pavilion, originally known called the San Jose Arena. This is the approach to the pavlion along Santa Clara Street through a geometrical forest of palm trees. The Arena Green lies to the north. The Pavilion hosts many events, but it is primarily known as being the home of the San Jose Sharks hockey team.

The HP Pavilion and the Arena Green lawn

In the Arena Green, across the street from the HP Pavilion are five mosaic-covered pillars. Each honors a Bay Area Olympic skater. Those skaters are Peggy Fleming, Brian Boitano, Debbi Thomas, Rudy Galindo, and Kristy Yamaguchi.

The Arena Green has lawns, picnic benches, a snack bar, restrooms, and two playgrounds. This is the playground for older children. The other is for younger children.

Underneath a translucent fiberglass tent roof is the Arena Green's carousel. It contains 33 animals, including 5 representing animals native to San Jose and a shark for the San Jose Sharks team.

A twin pedestrian bridge leads across Los Gatos Creek

Sandwiched in-between Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River is Confluence Point, where the creek and river meeting. The corner of the wall above points towards the confluence. A dirt path leads down to the actual point. This area has sculptures celebrating the Ohlone-Costonoan native people who lived here.

This is the ranger station and visitor center, perched above the Guadalupe River near Santa Clara Street. The center has maps, park information, and displays on the plants and wildlife in the park.

This is looking across the Guadalupe River towards the flood control inlet structure north of Santa Clara Street.

To continue on the Guadalupe River Trail, cross under the Santa Clara Street bridge on the east side of the river. See Part 2.

Created by Ronald Horii, 7/19/07, updated 1/21/08